Beneficial Role of Virgin Coconut Oil Supplementation against Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autistic Children

Walaa MR El-Meidany1*, Dalia I. Tayel1, Marwa S. Abd El-Maksoud2, Ebtisam M. Fetohy3, Fikrat A. El-Sahn1

1Nutrition Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt. 2Pediatrics Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt. 3Department of Health administration and Behavioral Sciences, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt

*Corresponding Author: Dr. Walaa El-Meidany, Lecturer of Nutrition, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt. E-mail: w.elmaidany@alexu .edu.eg / mamdouh_loly@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT
Background: Children with ASD are at much greater risk of developing general gastrointestinal (GI) concerns such as abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. The possible pathophysiological mechanisms behind the gut disturbances include gluten-related disorders, intestinal inflammation alone or with autoimmunity, immunoglobulin E-mediated and/or cell-mediated GI food allergies as well. Aim of the study: The study aimed to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the gastrointestinal symptoms of children with autism spectrum disorder. Subjects & Methods: Quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test study including 61 children of age group less than 18 years from both sexes. Results: Dietary supplementation with VCO caused a significant improvement in the gastrointestinal symptoms of the studied ASD children assessed by GI- severity index. Conclusion: VCO supplementation is very effective in alleviating the gastrointestinal symptoms of ASD children. Using virgin coconut oil dietary supplementation is recommended for autistic children suffering from different forms of gastrointestinal manifestations such as bloating, abdominal pain, foul smell of stool and flatulence.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Children, Gastrointestinal symptoms, Virgin coconut oil

Citation: Walaa MR El-Meidany, Dalia I. Tayel, Marwa S. Abd El-Maksoud, Ebtisam M. Fetohy, Fikrat A. El-Sahn. Beneficial Role of Virgin Coconut Oil Supplementation against Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autistic Children. Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2021; 9 (2): 20-32.

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.14206/canad.j.clin.nutr.2021.02.03

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